Jackson Mthembu blasts Julius Malema for attack on new NPA boss

Jackson Mthembu. File photo.
Jackson Mthembu. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe/The Times

What motivated EFF leader Julius Malema’s “unprecedented” attack on new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi?

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, who posed the question on social media on Sunday, suggested that the red berets had gone on the offensive because they were worried about being prosecuted in connection with the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal.

Batohi spoke about a “cancer of impunity” that had ravaged the rule of law in South Africa during her first press briefing on Friday.

“Perpetrators of crime and corruption, within the state or private sector, regardless of who you are, where you are, how rich you are, your days of acting with impunity are numbered,” BusinessLIVE quoted her as saying.

A day later, speaking at the EFF manifesto launch, Malema accused Batohi of being “too close” to public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and added that he did not trust her.

Mthembu’s response was swift in a series of tweets. “What motivated [Malema’s] unprovoked, unprecedented and unprincipled attack on the new #NDPP head, advocate #ShamilaBatohi? Does the looting of #VBS by EFF and fear of prosecution explain this arrogance and total stupidity on his part? Dictum of attack as defence,” he wrote.

He added that Batohi should not be deterred by “unscrupulous and mindless” leaders who tried to draw her into political wars.

“We want to give [Malema] and [the EFF] free advice, don’t judge #ShamilaBatohi before she even starts her work, judge her by what she does in her appointed position. Some of us are confident that she will do her work without any fear, prejudice or favour,” he tweeted.

Malema replied with three emojis, indicating hysterical laughter.

EFF supporters replied, saying that Mthembu was “out of order” and reminded him that ANC members had been suspended for allegedly being involved in the VBS looting spree.


X